Tender Shoot of Joy


For 2014 schedule ...

Our friends to the southeast enjoy coming to Liberation Park to visit and we enjoy visiting with them in Milwaukee.

2010 workshops, talks, & days of mindfulness:

February, April, July, & September

Saturday February 20th

Morning: Mindfulness with Breathing: Foundation of Body & Breathing Together

Mindfully learning to allow our bodies to breathe freely without interference from over-active minds & emotions is crucial for good health, a settled practice, and inner steadiness-calm. We'll review the Buddha's teaching on this application of mindfulness (satipatthana).

Afternoon: Mindfulness, Sangha, & Society

This will be an on-going exploration of questions concerning Sangha in our current worlds. We're asking how we can cooperate in supporting our practice, take care of each other, and take responsibility for society. Part of the inquiry involves re-evaluating the forms of Sangha received from Asian Buddhist cultures and inherited from American religious forms. A historical review is part of the process. See below for some of the questions we'll be exploring.

Sunday February 21st

Morning: Practice & Talk

Buddhism & Social Change: Some History & Ideas for Today

Saturday April 24th

Morning: Mindfulness with Breathing: Body, Breath, Samadhi, & Feelings

Afternoon: Mindfulness, Sangha, & Society -- ongoing explorations

Sunday April 25th

Morning: Practice & Talk

Dhamma Inquiry

Saturday July 24th

Morning: Mindfulness with Breathing: Contemplating Mind while Breathing In & Out

Afternoon: Mindfulness, Sangha, & Society - Naive optimism vs. Deep pessimism

Some individuals and institutions in our society offer optimism in light of the rather pessimistic warnings coming from climate experts, civil libertarians, and social justice advocates. While life without hope is difficult if not impossible to live, blocking out reality and living only in naive hope is more of a problem than a solution.

Is there a basis for deeper, truly compassionate hope that remains open-hearted to the pessimistic signs without capitulating? Is profound pessimism more honest and therefore compassionate? Do we need radically different (new/old) perspectives? Behaviorally, what can we change now?

Please come prepared to dwell in uncertainty as we collectively seek a sane, caring direction.

Sunday July 24th

Morning: Dhamma & Politics
-- does Buddhism have anything useful to say about modern politics? can the Buddha's life & example provide helpful examples & guidances among our current political impasses, conflicts, ideologies, & apathies? is Dhamma sufficient for our human needs such that we can forget about politics if we are spiritually committed and mature?

Saturday September 11th & Sunday September 12th

Retreat, Dhamma dialogue, good works, & talks at Liberation Park.

Tents, tipi, stars, tress, bugs, and good friends.


Programs were cancelled, except for October weekend and Winter Solstice.


Email: ordinarydharma

Questions for Reflection: Mindfulness, Sangha, & Society

-- conceiving the Buddha as a prince

-- clericalism (bhikkhus becoming brahmin priests)

-- accepting & cozying up to violent power structures

-- abandoning early tribal federations (as model and as partners)

-- apologizing for (and often mimicing) autocratic, centralized monarchies

-- hierarchy of practitioners (feudal in tone)

Not all of the questions can be answered conclusively. Instead, we are aiming for a healthy dialogue between Buddhism's original radicalism (which needs to be distinguished from later conformities) and our aspirations for healthy Sanghas contributing to healthy societies.